Located in Ada, Ohio, the Ohio Northern University (ONU)
is a private college affiliated with the United Methodist
Church. One of the university's missions is to focus on
the health and well-being of citizens in rural and
In 2013, nearby Hardin County's needs assessment
highlighted healthcare access as a major influence on
health and wellness. Both transportation issues and
limited numbers of care providers were viewed by ONU's
College of Pharmacy's as problems that could be impacted
with outreach efforts.
Outreach preparation included engagement with county
residents to further understand medical and health needs.
Relationships with multiple Hardin County clinical
partners were easily developed because of shared mission.
HealthWise, the program began in 2015.
The current program functions as a simple extension of
each collaborating organization. Transportation and
workforce shortage issues are addressed by bringing
student healthcare professionals and their professors to
Hardin County communities on a scheduled basis. The
effort is centered in clinical services provided by
students working as members of an inter-professional team
of pharmacists in addition to a laboratory specialist.
Disease management, medication reviews, immunizations,
and preventive health education services are provided.
When possible and necessary, patients are referred to
primary medical care.
Visits are scheduled at community gathering locations,
such as churches and schools. In August 2017, a
partnership with CVS Health and Mercy Health in Lima,
Ohio took the outreach effort to a new level with
provision of a mobile motor coach.
ONU HealthWise partners also include the Kenton-Hardin
Health Department, Hardin Memorial Hospital, Kenton
Community Health Center, and Health Partners of Western
The outreach program was funded in part by a Federal
Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP)
Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grant.